Bolster your immunity with several herbs

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

April 16, 2000|By Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate

Q. I am basically healthy, but I become ill with a temperature and throat irritation three or four times a year. Nearly every time I visit our five grandchildren for a few days, I come home with a throat infection, fever or related illness. By now I am almost hesitant to travel the 400 miles to visit them.

What can I do to bolster my immunity? I take additional vitamin C in the hope it will help. I try to stay away from adults or children who are ill. I also wash my hands regularly.

A. Several herbs appear to boost the immune system. Astragalus is a Chinese plant used to prevent or treat the common cold. Another Chinese herb is Andrographis paniculata, sold as Kan Jang. It, too, appears to improve immune response and is used to treat colds, flu and allergies.

Echinacea is a native American herb commonly used to treat cold symptoms. German research demonstrates that fresh juice of this plant also enhances immunity.

In addition to your vitamins and general precautions, you might want to take one of these remedies when you visit your grandchildren.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of the People's Pharmacy, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, N.C. 27717, or e-mail them at their Web site (www. peoplespharmacy.com) on the HealthCentral.com network.

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